Don't Waste Your Money: What an unexpected credit card means - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Don't Waste Your Money: What an unexpected credit card means

(Source: AP Images) (Source: AP Images)
(Don't Waste Your Money) -

A new year often means updated credit and debit cards from your bank. But if you get any unexpected cards the next few weeks, be sure to check them carefully.

Surprise Visa Card

Ann Shepherd went out to her mailbox the other day and couldn't believe what she found inside.

"I opened up my mail and got a credit card that I hadn't applied for," she said.

Inside was an Amazon Chase Bank Visa card.

Only problem: She never requested one.

So she called, and the agent said it appeared she had applied for it.

"They seemed to think that was a legitimate credit card, and I said no, I never applied, I never used their bank before. I worry that other credit cards might have been issued," she said.

Simple mistake...or ID theft?

The Better Business Bureau says if you ever receive a credit card or ATM card from a bank you don't do business with, be very suspicious.

In her case, Shepherd may have inadvertently signed up for the Amazon card when making an Amazon purchase.

Chase Bank will only say it appeared to be a legitimate online application. But it has agreed to cancel the card.

However, the BBB's Sandra Guile says this could be a warning someone has been trying to open cards in your name and you just happened to get one delivered (they received the other ones at their address).

"It's a domino effect," she said. "Because once those credit cards start appearing in your mailbox, it’s going to continue on until they realize that person has caught on to it."

So the BBB says if you are sure you did not sign up for the credit card by accident:

  • Cancel the card immediately.
  • Go to "Identity Theft.gov" and fill out an ID theft form.
  • Contact Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, and check your credit report for other cards.
  • Tell them to put a fraud alert on your account.

Shepherd may have simply made a mistake when making an Amazon purchase, clicking an offer to "save money."  But she doesn't recall doing that, and worries she could be an ID theft victim.

My advice? If this happens to you, don't just cut up and toss that new credit card. Make sure you call and find out why they sent it to you, so you stay safe and don't waste your money.


Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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